Guilt and Its Origins:
The guilt felt by moms when considering taking a vacation is often linked to societal norms and self-imposed expectations. The pressure to be a perfect mother can sometimes lead to constant self-sacrifice, neglecting one’s own needs for the sake of the family. However, it is crucial to recognize that taking time for oneself does not mean neglecting parental responsibilities. It is rather a strategy to strengthen mental and emotional health, providing a more balanced and happier mom for her family. Personally, I believe that I provide enough time and attention to my children since their birth. I even breastfed the first for 12 months and the second for 13 months. I have also arranged to have a job (therapist) where I work mostly from home. I no longer feel guilty when I leave them with my husband for 7 days. This strengthens their bond, and they usually engage in activities and outings that are out of the ordinary. What else? I am always “shocked” when I receive moms in burnout at my office who say, “I could never leave my children for 2 days for a romantic getaway. Time passes so quickly that I prefer to enjoy my children!” Enjoying when you are exhausted and frustrated (for example, not being able to go back to school, have a hobby, or go on vacation) serves no purpose. In exhaustion, things are often difficult to manage and can go wrong. A well-deserved rest is far from guilt-inducing!
Psychological Benefits for Moms:
Taking a week off can have profound and positive psychological effects for moms. It reduces stress, prevents parental burnout, and strengthens mental resilience. Time away from the daily routine also offers a new perspective, fostering personal growth and self-discovery outside the role of a parent. It is unfortunate not to feel guilty when going on business trips but to do so when the goal is rest! Reflect on this, and you will probably reconsider your position!
Positive Effects on the Couple:
Solo vacations can also be beneficial for the couple. Time away revives emotional connection by bringing new energy to the relationship. Couples can reconnect, strengthen their bond, and better appreciate the partnership in parenting. This break can be a catalyst for open and honest communication, thus reinforcing the foundation of a healthy partnership. Personally, when I go away, I stay in close contact with my husband and, for example, don’t hesitate to send a WhatsApp from the Grand Canyon! It’s a way to share my travels with him and my children, who don’t like flying and prefer vacations nearby! I sometimes receive women who are extremely possessive or jealous and dare not leave their husband alone for 7 days, fearing some infidelity. This fear is ingrained and needs to be addressed to be downplayed! If it remains in the unconscious and never enters the realm of reflection, there is a more than annoying problem. Going alone precisely allows a freedom that makes the relationship less predictable than usual. Going far away, accepting the need for travel or exoticism, is to feel “always alive,” truly alive! Of course, making new acquaintances while traveling is quite common and classic. When a person travels alone, they can be approached by other solo travelers. This stance allows you to make travel friends from whom you expect nothing more than to share a visit or a coffee on Hollywood Boulevard or tea at the Taj Mahal! These encounters, once explored, often reveal gaps or superficiality. Some, however, are exceptional and deserve attention. During my last trip to the USA, I befriended three people whom I later introduced to my family, and we enjoy getting together for a drink.
Positive Impact on Children:
Contrary to initial fears, a mom taking time for herself does not harm the children. On the contrary, it offers children the opportunity to develop independence, learn to take care of themselves, and understand that individual well-being is essential. Moreover, by observing parents taking care of themselves, children learn important lessons about balance, stress management, and self-respect. When he was little, my eldest son liked me taking care of myself, being able to leave him with his father to go to the hairdresser, take a singing lesson, record a song, or even go to a spa for a few days. I believe today that this has given him a sense of self-love: knowing when to stop to take care of oneself when necessary!
Moms deserve to take time to rest and recharge. It is an investment in their mental well-being that will positively impact the whole family. By eliminating the guilt associated with this practice, moms can create a more balanced, fulfilling family environment infused with positive energy. Sometimes, the extent of our love is felt in silence and absence. Giving regular updates while on solo vacations helps moms better express their feelings and better understand their achievements at the family level.